Privacy and Confidentiality Policy

York County Libraries are committed to protecting the privacy of our members, donors, visitors and other contacts. We collect no personal information about you when you visit our web site unless you choose to provide that information to us.

Libraries serve as forums for the pursuit and exchange of knowledge, information, and ideas.  We are impartial resources providing information on all points of view to all persons.  As such, it is essential that libraries provide the privacy that will free individuals from fear of scrutiny or intimidation by government power or others.

The confidentiality of library records is a basic principle of librarianship.  This principle is reflected in Article III of the American Library Association Code of Ethics which states ‘[librarians] protect each user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.’ Additionally, Pennsylvania has a state law that protects the confidentiality of library records.  Confidential information includes database search records, reference interviews, circulation records, interlibrary loan records, and other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services.

All York County Libraries agree to record the minimum personal information necessary for the efficient operation of the library.  We have in place practices and procedures that protect personally identifying information.  In instances that private data cannot be protected, we will inform users that there is some risk involved when they use these services.

York County Libraries also recognize that law enforcement agencies and officers may occasionally believe that library records contain information which would be helpful to the investigation of criminal activity.  Confidential records will be released only upon the issuance of a court order in proper form, following a showing of good cause based on specific facts, by a court of competent jurisdiction.